Word Work Journals

Hey everyone! I hope you had a fabulous weekend!

When I posted about my Easy and Cheap Word Work and Writing Centers, I had mentioned my Word Work Journals, and someone asked for a little more information about them.

At the beginning of the school year, my grade partner and I had decided to try The Daily 5, and were discussing the best way for our students to practice important words for Word Work. We were also thinking about an ideal way for students to work on writing without having papers everywhere.

We tossed around a bunch of ideas- laminated cards with sight words and word families we’re learning, making a “dictionary for each student, and a bunch more. My lovely grade partner actually came up with the format for our Word Word Journal.

Here’s what I did.

I got a regular composition book for each of my students, and I wrote A, B, C etc on the top of each page. (I gave 2 pages for S and T).


I got a list of the Dolch sight words for Pre-K to Second Grade in alphabetical order, and I wrote them on the appropriate page. That way, my students would have their sight words all in one place.When a student chooses to do Word Work, they simply get their supplies (foam letter, stone letters, magnet letters, etc), take out their Word Work Journal, and they’re ready to go!

It’s great because it doubles as a mini dictionary, and my students are always allowed to take it out and use it to spell a word during writing. We have a word wall, of course, but many of my students prefer their Word Work Journals (I think because it’s so much closer to them and it’s easier than reading words off of the wall).

We also learn a word of the day each day, so we add those to our Word Work Journal. It was great when we learned alphabetical order because they were already used to using their Word Work Journal, so they were already familiar with the idea.

Now, here’s the most brilliant part about our Word Work Journals: they double as our Work on Writing notebooks. After I wrote in all of the sight words, I just folded down the page and then students can work on writing in the rest of the notebook.

wwjournalpagedaily 5 work

It’s great because they have their site words right there when they need to spell a word, and there are NO LOOSE PAPERS! ๐Ÿ™‚ Does anyone else hear angels singing?

Now, I will tell you, it took me forever to make the journals for all of my students since I wrote the words in by hand, but it was well worth it. At the end of the year, my students will have a journal will all of their sight words, all of our words of the day, AND all of their writing from the whole year to take home and *hopefully* use over the summer.

If you’re thinking about creating your own Word Work Journals, you can download this Word Work Journal cover for free! Just click the picture below.



Word Work Journal Cover



So there you go! I hope that was helpful. I’d love to hear if anyone does something similar, or if anyone decided to try making their own Word Work Journal. Feel free to leave a comment below.

Happy Teaching!

Martha from Primary Paradise

Primary Paradise

Primary Paradise

I have always had a passion for teaching and sharing with others and look forward to sharing my ideas with you!


  • Rachel
    January 7, 2013 8:11 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing about your journals! I’ve been keeping an eye out for your post. I really like that idea and I just might try it! Thank you for sharing!

    • Primary Paradise
      Primary Paradise
      January 8, 2013 2:45 am

      My pleasure! I’m so glad it was helpful. ๐Ÿ™‚ If you do try it, I’d love to hear how it goes!

  • Debra
    May 25, 2013 9:02 pm

    I like your Word Work Journals idea. ๐Ÿ™‚ I will definitely try using them next fall. I am wondering what your students do with the magnetic/foam letters? I wonder if I can expand on this for my 2nd graders?? I’m thinking about writing sentences, definitions, etc.

    I would love to hear ideas from other teachers. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Primary Paradise
      Primary Paradise
      May 26, 2013 8:24 am

      I just had my first graders make different words, but I think that this year since I’ll be teaching 4th grade, they’ll make a word and then write the definition. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Carolina
    May 26, 2013 1:13 pm

    How do you choose your word of the day?

    • Primary Paradise
      Primary Paradise
      May 26, 2013 8:30 pm

      Hi! My grade partner had a word of the day book for first grade. I’m not sure what it was called, but I’m sure you could find it on amazon.

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